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COVID-19 outbreak at West Middle School prompts students and staff testing

West Middle School in Rockford, Illinois
West Middle School in Rockford, Illinois(Rockford Public Schools)
Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 12:25 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - All students and staff at West Middle School in Rockford have been required to test for COVID-19 on Friday, November 5.

This comes as the Winnebago County Health Department notified school officials that three people tested positive for COVID-19. Here is the letter that was sent to families of students enrolled at West.

All West students and staff will be required to test for COVID-19 at school on Friday, Nov. 5. Students must participate in the saliva-based SHIELD Illinois test, regardless of their vaccination status.

We’re requiring the tests because the Winnebago County Health Department notified us today that three individuals have tested positive for COVID-19. The Illinois Department of Public Health classifies an “outbreak” as “three or more epidemiologically linked cases tied to a single exposure source.” That means our school is listed as an “outbreak” site, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

We are requiring the test as a precaution. COVID-19 transmission is not happening among students at West from in-person learning, based on information from the Winnebago County Health Department. Our goal is to ensure students remain safe and healthy, and we want to limit any potential COVID-19 exposure or spread.

Students who are absent on Friday will be required to test when they return, or bring proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken between today and Monday, Nov. 8. Students who do not participate in any kind of COVID-19 test may be required to quarantine through Sunday, Nov. 14, and can return on Monday, Nov. 15.

How SHIELD Illinois works: Students will be directed to drool into a small plastic tube. The test looks for three genes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or COVID-19. Students will take the PCR test at school instead of visiting a doctor’s office, immediate care facility or pharmacy. Results are typically available 12-48 hours after the test and will be shared through your SHIELD Illinois account (registration information is below). Health Services will contact parents/guardians with positive test results.

Sign up: Register for an account on the SHIELD portal. Use the community agency code: df5brbrj If you need help with registration, contact the SHIELD 24-hour patient hotline: 217-265-6059. Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Mr. Larry Goodrich

Principal West Middle School

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